Can I be sued over a users comments?

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:01 am

not a lawyer and never played one on tv
however, I really doubt they would have a case in any court.

there is such a thing in the US called "freedom of speech". unless whatever they said could be legally construed to be slander or legally libelous. even then, I would imagine the person responsible for posting it would be the one to sue.

until and unless you get a legal notice of some kind from their attorneys , I would not even pay any attention to it.

however, if you are really concerned, consult a lawyer.


robert

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by KevC » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:28 am

I'm no lawyer either but one thing to note in the terms that every user agrees to when they sign up. It says
You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “[insert board name]” is hosted or International Law.
Also, if you anticipate this sort of thing in future due to the nature of the board you could add a line to the footer saying something like
Opinions expressed on this forum are those of the authors of the posts concerned.
They do not necessarily represent the views of the [insert board name] owners or administrators.
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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by noth » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:56 pm

James have you seen the thread on whether a member can demand their posts be deleted ?

similar vein and if you have the time, quite an education

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Darth Wong » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:43 pm

Quick summary of what was said in that thread:
  1. Users agreed to certain terms when they signed up.
  2. The legal enforceability of this type of contract has been disputed before. It may still be up in the air.
  3. Laws can nullify certain terms of contracts anyway, and laws vary from country to country.
  4. Nobody's going to bother suing you if they can't show financial damages.
Now in this case, the competitor might be able to make a good case for financial damages if the user is posting false statements about their product. I'm not a lawyer so I wouldn't lay odds on their chances of success, but I would just point out that a lot of TV shows and radio call-in shows tell callers not to mention any companies by name when they call in, for fear of lawsuits. If they're worried about being sued because some guy called their radio show and said something on-air, then I think you might want to worry about being sued for some guy posting something on your forum. After all, even if the competitor has no case, he can still cause you enormous headaches just by trying to sue you.

I would wait for the "cease and desist" letter from their lawyer before taking anything down, though.

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by divunderground » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:40 pm

They have to be able to prove that damage was done, and that the damage was caused by said posts. And even that's really only applicable if they lied about something or made false accusations or something of that sort.
If it is something like "classified" information that they are mad that got released, then that's irrelevant to you. the only way anyone can get in trouble for that is if an NDA was violated.
If it is just general statements that are true then they don't really have a case.

But if you are that worried, I would probably just remove them myself unless they are somehow really that important to your forum. At the very least, I would just edit out whatever they are specifically mad about.

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Merengues » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:46 am

Kevin Clark wrote: Also, if you anticipate this sort of thing in future due to the nature of the board you could add a line to the footer saying something like
Opinions expressed on this forum are those of the authors of the posts concerned.
They do not necessarily represent the views of the [insert board name] owners or administrators.
it's actually the best way. thus you'll put all the responsibility for the comments on the person who made that comment. and that would a right thing to do

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Darth Wong » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:51 pm

Merengues wrote:
Kevin Clark wrote:Also, if you anticipate this sort of thing in future due to the nature of the board you could add a line to the footer saying something like
Opinions expressed on this forum are those of the authors of the posts concerned.
They do not necessarily represent the views of the [insert board name] owners or administrators.
it's actually the best way. thus you'll put all the responsibility for the comments on the person who made that comment. and that would a right thing to do
That does not necessarily get you off the hook.

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:41 pm

the bottom line is that anyone can get sued for anything at any time.
doesn't mean they will win.


robert

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by saquab » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:58 am

My sis is a lawyer. It doesn't matter what someone writes, you yourself can't be sued for anything. You're not responsible for anyone else or what they do!

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:24 am

saquab wrote:My sis is a lawyer. It doesn't matter what someone writes, you yourself can't be sued for anything. You're not responsible for anyone else or what they do!
well, that is simply not true.

anyone can be sued by anyone at anytime.

a judge may throw it out, they may lose or they may win.

but the suit can be brought to court.

at least in the litigation happy us of a anyway.

robert

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Paul Arden » Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:37 am

I've been threatened a number of times, but those who have threatened it have never actually taken it forward. Personally I wouldn't worry about it, at least not until they start sending you letters. Then it's time for some legal advice. In one of our cases God replied to their lawyers and sorted it out (hard to believe I'm not in Jail sometimes!).

I can ask around if you want, which country are you in?

Cheers, Paul

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by callumacrae » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:20 am

Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, you're not liable for content posted on your forum (I think, IANAL).

Different in other countries though - http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_p ... latestnews

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:51 pm

well, that wiki article ( like most ) is one person's interpretation/opinion of that law and what it means.
if you read the attched discussion there are several people that disagree with what it contains etc.

if you want to quote laws then you should quote the statute, not some wikipedia article.


robert

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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by callumacrae » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:59 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:well, that wiki article ( like most ) is one person's interpretation/opinion of that law and what it means.
if you read the attched discussion there are several people that disagree with what it contains etc.

if you want to quote laws then you should quote the statute, not some wikipedia article.


robert
It's linked to in the first sentence of the article.

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Can I be sued over a users comments?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:01 pm

Callum95 wrote:
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:well, that wiki article ( like most ) is one person's interpretation/opinion of that law and what it means.
if you read the attched discussion there are several people that disagree with what it contains etc.

if you want to quote laws then you should quote the statute, not some wikipedia article.


robert
It's linked to in the first sentence of the article.
yep, I meant to mention that in my post.


robert

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